It's going to be the biggest New Year's Eve party in Wales under one roof as 7,500 revellers in School fancy dress ring in 2004 at the Millennium Stadium. Having started with a modest target of 3-5,000 party goers, the Stadium's 'School Party' has exceeded all expectations, forcing the organisers to reluctantly ditch plans to sell further tickets on the night.
"We wanted to try to utilise the Stadium's fantastic potential and facilities for New Year's Eve, but we weren't sure how successful we would be in pulling in the party goers in our first year," admitted Paul Sergeant, the Millennium Stadium manager.
"Our initial aim was to break even. To do that we had to clear 1,800 tickets, although we set an upper limit of 5,000. "But the response was so great that we were forced to go back and ask for permission to increase our numbers by a further 2,500. Those extra tickets sold out in a matter of days and we have been turning down hundreds of requests ever since we reached the 7,500 mark.
"The beauty of the Millennium Stadium is that everyone will be dry, we're erecting the longest bar in Britain across the width of the pitch and we've imported six industrial hot-air blowers to ensure it is warm enough for people to enjoy themselves.
"We priced the tickets very competitively at Â£10 and we are ensuring that all drinks will cost no more than regular high street prices. We've also ordered extra amounts of beer, larger and spirits to cater for the anticipated huge demand."
It won't be the first time the Millennium Stadium has hosted a New Year's Eve party. In 1999, its first year of business, there were more than 50,000 people at the manic Street Preachers' 'Manic Millennium' concert. The 2003 party, which is being co-promoted by Red Dragon Radio, will be smaller, although there will be plenty of entertainment for the party goers to enjoy. As well as the heavily stocked bars there will be tribute bands, Red Dragon Radio disc jockeys, disco dancing and a tuck shop to provide sweets and food.
"The extra money we have raised has enabled us to plough more money into making the evening a success. The aim is to give everyone who comes to the Stadium the best party of the year," said Sergeant.
"As well as the 7,500 revellers, there will be almost 200 staff working on the night and we will be open from 8.00pm until 3.00am." Such has been the response to the Stadium's first venture into 'Party Nights' that Sergeant is exploring the possibility of hosting a 'Summer Beach Party'.
"We're toying with the idea of importing thousands of tons of sand to create a beach in one half of the stadium and providing other summer attractions on the other side," said Sergeant. "Judging by the response we've had to New Year's Eve, there is a big demand for special events. And where better to stage them than the Millennium Stadium?"